Car corrosion can be a big issue. Those who wish to sell a classic vehicle can encounter rust regularly, but even for newer cars, corrosion and its effects can plague the car-selling process.
The advent of rust-resistant materials in newer cars has slowed the rate of corrosion, but it’s still essential for drivers of modern vehicles to take all precautions against it.
Estimations state that car corrosion can curtail a car’s value significantly. For example, too much rust can easily re-classify a vehicle from “complete and running” to “basket case”, leading to losses in sales value.
Thankfully, car corrosion is both preventable and treatable. If you want to prevent rust or learn about neutralising rust on cars, we have you covered below.
Car corrosion happens when materials deteriorate because of oxidation. This process is usually caused by rusting, a chemical reaction that occurs when iron interacts with air and water.
The presence of rust doesn’t necessarily mean corrosion is present. Rust is merely a type of corrosion. However, it is the most common sign that corrosion is happening; if rust is left untreated, damage can occur to your car’s engine, brakes and internal polymers.
There are several risk factors for car corrosion:
You also need to know the types of rust a car can have. Namely, there are three major rust types:
Ideally, you want to prevent corrosion at the source before it occurs. There are a number of oils and waxes you can use to protect your car, but the most cost-effective method is proper storage and cleaning.
You should ensure your car is parked so it stays dry for as long as possible. Of course, this isn’t always possible unless you own a garage, especially in the UK! You can, however, ensure spare parts and nuts and bolts are kept dry.
Washing and drying your car regularly can reduce rust, too. You should still wash your car in the winter, especially if there is grit on the floor. Grit and salt speed up the rusting process significantly, and cleaning your car can get rid of those pesky rusting agents.
Otherwise, there are anti-rust sprays you can purchase. For most cars, regular cleaning and drying should be sufficient to prevent surface-level rust from appearing.
So, you’ve taken care of your car, but you still see surface rust. Is it game over? Can you treat this yourself? Thankfully, with the right tools and a bit of elbow grease, you can get rid of surface rust for good. Learn how to treat surface rust on a car below.
To start, you need:
For the first step, isolate the rust with tape. This will stop you from sanding down good parts of the paintwork. Following that, wash the area thoroughly, removing all dirt. You may also need to apply a wax and grease remover at this stage.
You then use a scraper to remove paint chips and anything else covering the rust. Then, sand the area down to just metal. Wipe and dry the area with a microfiber cloth.
Continue sanding, washing and drying until the rust is removed. After that, apply the right paint and primer over the area. Remove the tape once the surface-level rust is removed.
There are ways to remove rust without sanding. Sanding can be difficult if you’ve never done it before, plus it’s possible to damage good paintwork in the process.
Two other tools you could use are citric acid and steel wool. For citric acid, add hot water and apply it to the surface area. Be sure to read all the safety information first and wear the recommended PPE.
Steel wool can remove rust, but it takes more effort than sandpaper. However, this extra effort comes with the added benefit of you being less likely to remove good paint.
If you have penetrating or scale rust, then you will need to get it professionally treated at a garage. You can only deal with surface-level rust at home. Of course, if you don’t feel confident about removing surface rust alone, opt for a garage.
At findandfundmycar.com, we offer high-quality used cars, bikes and vans. When you buy from our network of dealers, you buy with a hallmark of quality, meaning you don’t have to worry about rust, corrosion or any other issues.
Discover our full range of used cars today.
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